'He was so huge, but kind' - Jonah Lomu and actor Robin Williams had a friendship for life - Ruck

‘He was so huge, but kind’ – Jonah Lomu and actor Robin Williams had a friendship for life

Jonah Lomu met Robin Williams at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel in 1998 in a promotion organised by the New Zealand Rugby Union.

It brought together the biggest name in rugby and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and started an enduring friendship.

They remained friends until Williams’ death in August 2014 aged 63.

Describing Lomu, Williams once said: ‘I never knew how huge he was.

‘I felt like a peasant in a Godzilla movie.

‘Quickly! Tell the other villagers! We go now!

‘I realised I could fall out of Jonah’s nose and he wouldn’t even know.

‘I think he picked me up and put me on his shoulders: Put me down, Kong!

‘He was so huge, but kind.’

In an open letter following the death of Williams, Lomu described the bond they shared.

Lomu said: ‘My friend, it’s sad to hear of your passing, it was an honour and privilege to have known you, we sure had a lot of laughs together.

‘I still remember the first time we met, it feels like yesterday but we have both grown up a little more since then. Our times were full of laughs.’

‘We had a lot of great times together so I thank you for each of them, thanks for all the great memories my friend.’

The script from Williams’ blockbuster movie Jumanji was a treasured gift that Lomu held on to.

Lomu said: ‘I thought you had signed me a copy of the book Jumanji but when I opened it up it was the script of your entire movie.

‘I will always treasure that my friend and will show it to my boys too.’

Lomu died on 18th November 2015, aged 40, after a long battle with kidney disease.


Celebrities you didn’t know played rugby….

15 celebrities you didn’t know were former rugby players…

Fullback: Gareth Bale

Although more known for his achievements in football, Gareth Bale was actually a keen rugby player in his school days and has even played alongside future Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton.

Winger: Prince Harry

As an avid fan and patron of England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU), Prince Harry still loves the sport quite a bit and advocates it as a great discipline for youths to develop valuable social skills such as teamwork and respect for others.

Centre: Gethin Jones

The television presenter captained the Manchester University 1st XV to the final of the BUSA Championships for the first time in their history, represented Lancashire and had trials with Sale RFC. Also played for Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd.